Kirsty MacColl

Electric Landlady

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Kirsty MacColl's biggest U.S. success (featuring the college radio hit "Walking Down Madison"), 1991's Electric Landlady is also her most eclectic album. Besides the hip-hop-influenced "Walking Down Madison," the album version of which comes complete with a guest rap by Aniff Cousins, Electric Landlady also includes the sublime single "My Affair," MacColl's first full-fledged foray into Latin music. Besides that brilliant track, several of the other more traditional pop songs include prominent Latin percussion that enhances the songs' varied grooves while being subtle enough to let them maintain their individuality. Meanwhile, other tracks incorporate African and electronic influences, and to top it off, the closing "The One and Only" reunites MacColl with the Pogues, with whom she had recorded two tracks in the late '80s. Somehow, all of these disparate influences tie together, united by MacColl's spellbinding voice and typically excellent songwriting, helped as usual by ex-Hitmen guitarist Pete Glenister and former Fairground Attraction leader Mark E. Nevins. While Electric Landlady is not the career high-point that the preceding Kite had been, nor is it as personal and haunting as the following Titanic Days, which concerned the death of her father and her separation from this album's producer, Steve Lillywhite, a second-rate Kirsty MacColl album is still a fine listen. [In 2005 EMI reissued Electric Landlady with the bonus tracks "Don't Go Near the Water," "One Good Thing," "Darling, Let's Have Another Baby," as well as alternate mixes of "My Affair [Bass Sexy Mix]" and "Walking Down Madison [6AM Ambient Mix]."]

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